Le Vieux Pin was named for the majestic aged pine tree that stands in the winery’s Black Sage Bench vineyard. The gesture reflects the winery’s commitment to create wines that pay homage to the dedication and traditions of France, while honouring the beautiful south Okanagan. Their Petit wines (there is a Rouge as well) are well crafted without needing to be contemplative. This year the Petit Blanc is a blend of sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, viognier, muscat, gewürztraminer, rousanne, marsanne and ehrenfelser, aged in stainless steel to preserve the aromatic fruit. Beauty texture in this singular blend – the palate is dense and oily with leesy notes, ripe peach, pear blossom, mandarin, anise, apricot, musk melon and honeysuckle. The finish is lengthy herbed brown butter – the perfect savoury send off and mate to lunch of local cheese, fruit and crisps.
A white aromatic blend with ripe tropical and stone fruit, white flowers, candied green apple and citrus aromas. The palate is rich textured with a touch of sweetness and lowish acid giving a soft round mouthfeel. There is peach, pear, baking spice, honey and a touch of orange sherbet and orange pith with a medium length finish. Good with mild curries.
On the nose, there are melons and an apple orchard of Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious. The palate has stone fruit, key lime and California sweet lemons. There’s some surprising rounded heft in the mouth, and a good balance between the fruit and acidity.
Keep it cool and drink as a summer sipper or with a fresh salad, or let it warm up a couple degrees and give your nose and palate a little more to play with – there are some tantalizing aromatics at work here.
The Le Vieux Pin 2012 Petit Sigma Blanc offers some serious value and will surprise you at its low price point (currently $17).
Often times, when wineries produce an entry-level white blend, the released wine is light, crisp and all too often comes-off as an assemblage of the left-over lots that didn’t make the grade for more prestigious labels in the portfolio. There is a practical element of this process that is (mostly) forgiveable, at the right price, but every now and then it’s refreshing to discover an entry-level blend (white or red, for that matter) where the winery has clearly given great care in balancing the various components into a finished product they can truly be proud of. The Petit Sigma Blanc is such a wine.
A blend of 9 French and Germanic varieties each contributing to a lovely combination of aromatic and rich characters on the exotic fruit and floral nose and on the richly textured palate where a medley of ripe melon, tropical fruit and crisp citrus flavours mingle with stone fruit and mineral notes. Many elements and layers to experience. Drink 2014-2016.